Q. On the outside my life seems
to be perfect. I have a supportive husband, two small children, no debt, good
health, etc. Yet, I am going through the worst experience of my life. Fear and
doubt surround me. Thoughts come to mind concerning the possible loss of my
family, death, and every imaginable terror, the worst being hell for me. I also
think about God asking me to leave my family (the Scripture that mentions hating
your life and family to gain eternal life is probably a top fear). Is it
dangerous to dwell on all these possible scenarios?
Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. -2 Corinthians 10:5-6
A: Scripture teaches us that we are in a war and that the warfare is for our mind. "As a man thinks in his heart, so he is (Proverbs 23:7)." The enemy of our soul, the devil, knows this. That's why he targets our mind with his poison arrows.
Satan wants you to think contrary to the character of God and to the Word of God. His tactics are to accuse God and others. He wants to persuade you to act independently of God, to walk according to the flesh rather than the Spirit.
Satan uses all of his power and craftiness to cut you off from the favor and presence of the Lord. And that is exactly what he is trying to do right now in your life - attempting to discourage you, make you fearful and wipe you out!
The thoughts that have been put in your mind about death, terror and leaving your family are not of God. How can we tell the difference between God's thoughts, our own thoughts, and the thoughts that Satan inserts into our soul?
God's promptings come in that still, small voice. God's Spirit bears witness with our spirit that it is God's voice, and we usually have an immediate peace, not thoughts of dying, terror and fear. God's voice encourages us and draws us closer to Him. God's voice is always in perfect agreement with His written Word.
Any voice that does not corroborate with God's Word is heresy. So don't follow it!
The Scripture I believe you are referring to when you talk about fearing that God may be making you leave your family is found in Luke 14:26. It says:
If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Jesus was boldly saying that nothing should come between you and God - even wonderful things such as family and life itself. All disciples must put Jesus first, then their family and then their life.
This Scripture does not mean that we are to "hate" (despise, loathe) our husbands and children, but that we must be willing to set them aside from being first in our lives and love God first. Then, He will enable us to love them as He desires. God is just saying here that nothing can come before Him.
Is it dangerous to dwell on these negative things? Most definitely - we are in a mind battle. God's master plan is for us to be "single-minded." As we show forth His Light (His Life), the Gospel will be passed on. God wants His Life alone to be manifested in our souls.
This occurs only when we yield our complete selves to Him - all our thoughts, emotions and desires that are contrary to His - and, moment by moment, renew our minds.
Satan will do everything in his power to prevent this from happening. He will go to any length he can to get us to give ourselves over to, and follow, our own thoughts and emotions, rather than taking those thoughts captive and dealing with them.
Satan's goal for us, as Christians, is to keep us double-minded at any cost.
To be double-minded means we are living two lives. God's Life is in our heart,
but it has become quenched and blocked because of our emotional choices.
Therefore, self-life is being shown forth in our soul.
God promises us in His Word that if we "take every thought captive" and give Him all our fears, hurts, disappointments, anxieties, confusion, insecurities, etc., He will remove them "as far as the east is from the west" and He will "meet all our needs."
So remember, we are in a mind battlewhoever directs or controls our thinking is also going to ultimately direct and control our lives.
Father God, thank you that He who is within me is greater than he who is in the worldin the name of Jesus, the Shepherd whose sheep know His voice.
King's High Way Manager